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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  November 25, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT

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dry and fairly sunny, but will be dry and fairly sunny, but still single figure temperatures and thatis still single figure temperatures and that is about to change. we talk about replenishing the water supplies, the outlook for tuesday and wednesday has wetter weather coming and windier as well but notice that the temperatures are on the up. hello, this is bbc news with shaun ley. the headlines. theresa may urges parliament and the public to back her brexit deal after it's endorsement at today's eu summit. jean—claude juncker, president of the european commission, warns mps that the agreement is the best and only deal on offer. parliament has seized documents as part of an ongoing dispute between facebook and a committee of mps investigating the technology giant's use of private data. and in cricket, england have set sri lanka a target of 327 to win the final test and avoid a series whitewash. now on bbc news — the week in parliament. hello and welcome to
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the week in parliament, our look at the political week in westminster and beyond, as former ministers try to stop the theresa may's brexit plans. she should junk forthwith the backstop. isn't it a regrettable but inescapable reality that this deal gives even more away? but don't worry, it's not all about brexit. hang on in there. the immigration minister's back in the lion's den. this is your responsibility. and that is information that has been provided anonymously by ngos, and we cannot... telepathy is not my first skill. and 100 after they got the chance to be mps, where are all the women? i don't know why but when i've come across women who when i'd said, you should stand to be an mp,
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a counsellor, the gla member, they've looked at me with utter shock and said, "me? really? in a position of power?" all that to come and more. but first: there's no escape from the issue that's prompted several ministers to resign from theresa may's government and her northern irish partners to go on strike rather than vote with the prime minister. theresa may came to the commons on thursday, as she did the previous thursday, to update mps on the brexit negotiations. then it was all about the 585 page divorce deal. this was about the 26 page political declaration which sketches out the uk's future relationship with the eu. it covers issues such as trade and security but it's not legally binding. and it appears just as hard to sell to her critics on both sides of the brexit argument. mr speaker, the british people want brexit to be settled. they want a good deal that sets us on a course for a greater future. and they want us to come together as a country and to move on,
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to focus on the issues at home, like our nhs. the deal that will enable us to do this is now within our grasp. in these crucial 72 hours ahead, i will do everything possible to deliver it for the british people and i commend this statement to the house. this empty document could have been written two years ago. it is peppered with phrases such as, "the parties will look at, "the parties will explore." what on earth has the government been doing for the last two years? the prime minister said nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. it is clear from this document that indeed nothing is agreed. this is the blindfold brexit we all feared. a leap in the dark. the snp feared a proposed fishing agreement will be linked to a free trade deal. scotland's fishing rights thrown overboard as if they were discarded fish. so much for taking back control,
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more like trading away scotland's interests. the lib dems were worried about medicines and aviation safety. the prime minister has managed to negotiate an agreement where we, quote, explore the possibility of corporations. i mean, that is pathetically weak, and it will cause great anxiety to millions of people who will depend on high standards of safety. the recently—resigned brexit secretary is still unhappy. the top reason people voted to leave the eu was to take back democratic control over our laws. isn't it the regrettable but inescapable reality that this wheel gives even more away? ——deal gives even more away? a former foreign secretary derided the backstop plan to avoid checks at the irish border. but we should junk forthwith the backstop upon which the future economic partnership, according to this declaration, is to be based, and which makes a complete nonsense of brexit. but some conservatives said voters
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would be re—assured by what they saw as a sensible compromise. does my right honourable friend agreed that the big divide now is between them and those who would risk anything for no deal or no brexit? putting at risk every chance of achieving a deal that few may love but most could live with. there were though more calls to hold another referendum. if the meaningful vote is lost, and if this house, as i believe it will, votes against no deal as an exit from the eu, does the government intend to come back with an alternative proposal on how to break the deadlock and why would that not include going back to the british people to ask them their views? downing street said there wouldn't be another referendum as long as theresa may is in number 10. and as if she doesn't have enough problems with her own side, it looks as if the prime minister can no longer rely on the ten dup mps, who are unhappy about the prospect of northern ireland being more closely tied to the eu if there's no trade deal.
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it is now clear that the eu are beginning to accept that there are alternative arrangements that can be put in place without the need for the backstop. and i would say to the prime minister that if she wants to have the support of my party for the withdrawal agreement, then we need to see the end of the backstop and those alternative arrangements put in place. indeed, the dup mps abstained in key votes on the finance bill — even voting with labour in one division. and the government agreed to labour and snp amendments rather than risk defeat. jayne mccormack in belfast explains what the dup are up to. this was an absolute reminder to theresa may about the power the dup wields in parliament. now, she needs the support of the party's ten mps in order to have a majority in the commons to get stuff through but in this instance, it didn't work. the confidence and supply
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arrangement that the two parties have, which is essentially the dup will back the government on all votes in exchange for £1 billion extra in spending for northern ireland. well, it was breached in this instance. the dup is meant to support theresa may on all finance votes but they said in this instance, they were not doing that, in order to fire a warning shot to theresa may and the government over its irish border proposal. now, remember, the irish border backstop is the insurance policy that would see no hard border in ireland after brexit. if it comes into effect, the dup says their problem with it is that there would be extra checks for goods coming into northern ireland from the rest of great britain, and they see those extras checks as any differences that could lead to damaging the integrity of the union and damaging northern ireland's economy. theresa may sees it clearly differently. she is continuing on with her brexit plan but she is going to have to look to other corners of the commons to drum up support for it because as it stands right now, the dup say they will not back this deal when it comes
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to the commons in a matter of weeks. jayne mccormack. wednesday marked the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to stand for parliament in the uk for the first time. parliament marked the date by holding an event in westminster hall on what it called ask her to stand day with women shadowing their local mp. but the celebrations were slightly muted. all of the evidence shows that diversity delivers better decision—making yet over the last 100 years in this place, 4,503 men have been elected to it and just 491 women. now, i'm proud that two of those conservative women became prime minister. but can my right honourable friend share with me what she feels that parliament, as well as the political parties, could be doing to help encourage more of the women who are with us today as part of the ask her to stand campaign actually do go forward and stand for election
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and join us on these green benches? being a member of parliament is one of the best jobs in the world. it is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people. it is an opportunity to be a real voice for those whose voice would otherwise not be heard. and it is a real opportunity to take decisions that will lead our country forward and provide a better future for people's children and grandchildren. it is a greatjob and i encourage all of the women who are here today and thinking of standing to stand for parliament, get elected, and make a difference. so, why aren't there more women doing one of the bestjobs in the world? tulip siddiq is a labour member of the women and equalities committee. anne jenkin, ladyjenkin, started a campaign to try to get more female conservative mps. currently, only one in five tory mps is a woman. i wish it were better but we have made progress, it was one in ten when we started, so we have doubled the percentage at least. i mean, it has been slow but it has been incremental. we had gone from 17 to 70
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in actually seven years but sadly the general election last year didn't have the results that we expected where we thought we would have a considerable number of new women in. in my head, i thought, well, we'll get those 30 in, we will have 100. next time around, it will be a lot of old white men retiring, we'll get half of those, and i can retire. but it didn't work out that way. so i'm disappointed, obviously, that we haven't got more but we did get half of the retirement seats and there is a commitment from my party, my party chairman, that 50% of the candidates list will be women. tulip siddiq, you were chosen from an all women shortlist, labour have used all women shortlists to get the number of women are but you are still not exactly 50/50 are you? we're not 50/50 yet, and as you say, i did get in on a all women shortlist and i'm very proud to have done so. it is not an ideal solution and that is what i always tell everyone. i wish we didn't have to use
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all women shortlist but when we did stop using them for a temporary period, we went backwards so i'm very pleased we are using them. i think we need to think about how we use them. we can't use all women shortlists in seats we're not going to win, and i think traditionally, the party has prided itself on saying, well, we have this many female candidates. there is no point in having female candidates seats that we are never going to win. annejenkin, you are nodding, all women shortlists for the conservatives? well, no, but i mean, tulip‘s point about having them in safe at seats is the important one. we are just at the moment as a party, selecting the seats, mostly the seats we lost last year. and so far it is a third, which is what i would expect. but, of course, women are bit more risk averse, they are more likely than men to think carefully and sensibly about the effects that this could have on their homes and lives. so i think, in large numbers... they are not putting themselves forward in the same way that men do. tulip siddiq, this week's campaign
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was called ask her to stand. is it the case that women need to ask to stand? to put themselves forward for parliament? or are they putting themselves forward and being rebuffed by some selection committees that frankly don't want women as mps? it is a bit of both, i'd say. yes, there are women who have put themselves forward and at the select committee evidence hearing, we heard from a former conservative mp who has put herself forward for 11 selections. i mean, i went through one selection and i thought if i don't win this, i'm not doing it again. to go through 11 selections is an enormous amount of selections to go through. it is notjust the financial cost, it is also the emotional cost attached to it. so i do think there was a case of women putting themselves forward and not getting over the final hurdle, which is to become a candidate and then become an mp. but i do think it is important to ask women to stand because i don't know why, but i've come across women who when i've said, "you should stand to be an mp, a councillor, "a labour member," they have looked at me
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with utter shock and said, "really, me? in a position of power?" i've said, "yes, because you would be really good." and two days later, i have had a message from them, saying, "i've been thinking about what you said, "and i'm now considering putting myself forward." tulip siddiq and ladyjenkin. the revelation that asylum seekers are being held in damp, filthy and vermin—infested accommodation prompted frosty exchanges on the committee corridor. not for the first time, the immigration minister caroline nokes clashed with the chair of the home affairs committee, yvette cooper. last month, they argued about brexit preparations. this time it was a damning report by the chief inspector of borders and immigration that led to these scenes. this is mums with kids under two. these are families who are a very long way from home. who knows what traumas they have been through along the way? you were shocked when you saw this? of course. it is always shocking to see anybody living with vermin infestation,
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with damp, with blocked drains. where there are dreadful examples, we would urge people to make contact through the channels that they have direct to the home office. ok, you had this report on the 9th ofjuly, have you or anybody else in the home office asked the inspectorate where this property is? we have and we do not have all those details yet. they have not been shared with us. right, the 9th ofjuly was kind of a long time ago. you still do not have the details of where this property is and whether it has been improved or not? they haven't provided those details of where those properties are. we are very keen to know where they are, we want to know where they are, and i will reiterate that publicly, that we are very keen to know exactly which properties... you though how utterly lame this sounds, don't you? ——you know how utterly lame this sounds, don't you? erm, i willjust reiterate, we have asked, we genuinely have asked which those properties are and we would definitely... do you want us to ask for you?
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that would be extremely helpful. 0k. i would have thought the minister could maybe have done that... we have asked for it and that is one of the challenges, that if information is shared with us then it is very difficult for us to find the information if they won't give it to us. this is your contract. this is your responsibility. and that is information that has been provided anonymously by ngos and we cannot... telepathy is not my first skill. so the committee made their enquiries. one hour later. my office have been in touch with the inspectorate office and have been told that the home office does indeed have the information and has been given the information about each of these cases, including the one involving the seven mothers and children and in fact the inspectorate is also happy to provide this information to the minister and to senior officials again if they have somehow lost this information. so, to be honest, minister, you didn't need telepathy, all you needed was a telephone in order to ring up and find this information. i would be pleased to receive it.
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might you not have wanted to make that call yourself, rather than leaving it for us to do in this public way? i think that is a conversation i need to have with my officials. but that wasn't the whole story. yvette cooper later tweeted to say that the independent inspector for customs, borders & immigration had contacted the home affairs committee with further information — information that supported the evidence that the minister and her official had given to the committee. caroline nokes wasn't the only government minister given a hard time on the committee corridor. here's a brief look at some other news from around westminster. a minister's advice to families hit by the benefits cap — a limit on how much state support households can receive — didn't go down well at the work and pensions committee. some will have made other changes, including in their housing costs. whether that is either moving or renegotiating
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what they are rental housing costs are. or they could have taken in a lodger. taking a lodger? these are large families. there is often three children in one bedroom. how are they going to take on a lodger? the future of post offices dominated questions to business ministers on tuesday. for 134 years, wigan post office has been the anchor of our high street and the beating heart of our community. it has survived two world wars, one global financial crisis, why can't it survive eight years of tory government? thank you, mr speaker, and as i have said repeatedly, we're not closing post offices. if in her particular constituency, if she does have a particular problem, i am more than happy to hear her particular concerns about her individual case. mps on the education committee investigating the support for children with disabilities and special needs heard there's a continuing battle for resources, which put white middle—class parents at an advantage.
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they heard from the father of a boy with autism. i quite quickly understood the bigger picture, which was that i was dealing with a very dysfunctional system of rationing, which the central criterion was which parents could push the hardest. and because i am a reasonably well educated, well resourced person who can read nine pages of text and spew out an approximation of it in two minutes, i could just about play the system successfully. and campaigners for women born in the 1950s who have been told they'll have to wait longer for their state pensions lobbied parliament again as mps debated the issue in westminster hall. these women have had their pension stolen from them. it is as simple as that. they paid into their pensions through a lifetime of work, raising their families, often acting as carers for other members of their families. doing all the right things, only to discover when it came time for them to be paid out,
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they were told the rules of the game had changed. for a political anorak like myself, little quickens the pulse as much as the prospect of a by—election. there's one happening at the moment, although it's possible you may not have noticed. the electorate for this poll is relatively small — just 31. there are, though, 11 candidates hoping to succeed lord northbourne, who has retired as one of the crossbench hereditary peers in the house of lords. labour's lord grocott says the system is ludicrous and indefensible. his bill to scrap hereditary by—elections has just cleared another parliamentary hurdle. the earl of caithness is an hereditary peer and is trying to stop lord grocott‘s attempt to change the law. it is a very exciting day, it is the by—election for parliament. normally there is quite a bit of press coverage in advance, this by—election is slightly peculiar because there are 31 electors, so the mathematicians amongst you will know that that means you need 16 votes to win, and there are 11 candidates so far,
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only nine of the candidates have thought it is a good idea to put out any kind of election address. so this is something which could only have been made up by gilbert and sullivan, but unfortunately it has been made up by an act of parliament nearly 20 years old, and we have got to live with it until my bill gets carried, which i hope it does very soon. actually it was blair and lord irving. but i have no objection to the abolition of the hereditary peers, which is what lord grocott's bill states. what i did not want to see is a purely appointed house of parliament which has been rejected by the house of commons in debates and votes earlier, had a house that comprises a third of the people who were former mps. you can take all the other
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peers out, just leave the ex—mps in parliament, we would still be the seventh largest second chamber in the world out of 78. that to me is madness. it is a big change in the constitution. if it was a big change in the constitution, i think there might be rather more interest in this by—election than there appears to be at the moment. one of the numerous problems that have not been identified by earl caithness is the simple fact that the people from whom this by—election must be in the end determined, the people who can stand as candidates, there are a total number 211 of these people on the official hereditary peers list. will it come as a surprise to any viewers or listeners that 210 of those are men? i don't think in the 21st—century it is too much to ask that they should be more than one woman.
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lord caithness, in 2018, you cannot surely justify someone being eligible for a seat in the house of lords on the ground of who his father was. i don't seek tojustify it, i seek to abide by a principle, and i wish others would stick by a principle. the people who want this are breaking a principle that was agreed between privy counsellors and binding in honour of those who came to vote for it. i was one of those that came to vote for it, i did not like it, compromises are never liked by every side. we can see that with what is going on at the moment in brexit. but you have to live with the compromise until the full terms are agreed. lords grocott and caithness. so what's been happening in the wider world of politics this week? with our countdown, here's tony diakou. at five, chair nicky morgan on whether bbc parliament would broadcast a treasury committee.
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we are beamed live on bbc parliament this morning. i cannot think why they think this session would be of interest. four, lib dem olly grender, another peer mentioned, an arch brexiteer. what about jacob rees mogg's press conference this week? at three, justice minister rory stewart reveals the secret to great sex. cycling... it is better for your sex life, it is better in fact also, guess, much better. at two, defence minister tobias ellwood on whether commons coverage has a comedy channel future. for those watching live or indeed on the ten o'clock news, the parliament channel or maybe one day on dave, could i say... and at one, women mps play a bit of football in the chamber, earning a yellow card from the speaker. it has been brought to my attention that some football skills were displayed in the chamber yesterday evening after the house rose.
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permission certainly did not come from me. wednesday was the 80th anniversary of the commons debate which led to the kindertransport — a scheme which brought 10,000 children, most of them jewish, to the uk, enabling them to escape nazi persecution. one of the child refugees from germany was sheltered by the future labour prime minister clement attlee and his family. though then a leading politician, attlee did not publicise his action. daniel brittain has the story. a boy of ten when he came to britain on the kindertransport. now aged 90, paul willer at westminster with clement attlee‘s granddaughter. it has been quite an afternoon. yeah. and the speaker of the commons. the scourge of racism and discrimination, anti—semitism and indeed of ethnic cleansing and genocide, i am sorry to say, remains a fact of life
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across the world in 2018, as it was a fact of life in 1938. the whole attlee family showered kindness upon me and took me under their wings. we went to church together, we went to church fetes together, everything was done in the family. my mother was felicity, the second daughter, and paul told me today that he enjoyed playing with her and seeing her, and they spoke latin together. because they couldn't either of them speak the other‘s language, but they found they had a common language in latin. and he also told me he was very fond of her, so i am very happy about that. well, first of all the story is absolutely typical, that he did the kind gesture as part of the local community, but he never let on to the rest
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of the world that he was doing it. absolutely typical clement that he would do something like that. so i am not surprised. what is the main memory, what is the thing that stands out from your time with them? i think the extraordinary love that i found from the whole family. children and parents. paul willer. and that's all from the week in parliament. thank you for watching. dojoin my colleague keith macdougall on monday evening at 11 o'clock on bbc parliament for a round—up of the day at westminster. bye for now. if you shower to day through eastern scotla nd if you shower to day through eastern scotland and eastern england, northern ireland as well. there is a lot of cloud around but there are brea ks lot of cloud around but there are breaks today. a fairly bright story with sunny spells in parts of the
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east midlands and east anglia. in the far south—east a few showers as well. let's take a look at things as the afternoon goes on. picking out where some of these showers are. through the english channel, mostly over water rather than land. it is fairly brisk out there and feeling colder than it did yesterday. there are some sunny colder than it did yesterday. there are some sunny spells and clear spells going into the night, away from these showers through eastern parts of england and northern ireland, eastern scotland, clearer skies in western scotland will allow temperatures to dip away. this is where we are likely to see the sharpest frost. anywhere where you are sharpest frost. anywhere where you a re clear sharpest frost. anywhere where you are clear for sharpest frost. anywhere where you are clearfor any sharpest frost. anywhere where you are clear for any period of time overnight, you could get close to freezing for a touch of frost. notice the showers running across northern england overnight and towards northern ireland. these are overnight temperatures and will be a touch colder. into tomorrow, i'll weather it's coming the east. still
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pushing showers into eastern scotla nd pushing showers into eastern scotland and eastern parts of england during the day. some into the east of northern ireland. much of western scotland and wales will be dry, sunny compared with today. the windows isn't as strong. frost on monday night and mist and fog into tuesday morning. a weather front from the atlantic, more to come going into wednesday. a deep area of low pressure with the wind picking up. we lose the easterly and see the south—westerly. that marks a transition to more active weather from tuesday onwards. rain coming into the west and south—west on tuesday. wendy on wednesday, gales in the north and west, temperatures bouncing back into double figures. things are going to feel different but along with that it's more u nsettled, but along with that it's more unsettled, very wet at times, potentially disruptive winds as well on wednesday. more online or through
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the app. i'm christian fraser live in brussels where eu leaders have been meeting for a special brexit summit. theresa may urges parliament and the public to back her brexit deal after its endorsement at today's eu summit. the british people don't want to spend any more time arguing about brexit. they want a good deal done that fulfils the vote and allows us to come together again as a country. jean—claude juncker, president of the european commission, issues a warning to those mps who think the eu can be persuaded to make further changes. this is the best deal possible for britain, this is the best deal possible for europe, this is the only deal possible. donald tusk, who chaired the summit, says the european union wants
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